The Prince's Mistress: A life of Mary Robinson
Sutton (Stroud, UK), 2004
Mary Robinson (1758-1800), generally known to history as 'Perdita' after the Shakespearean role which made her famous as an actress early in her career, was the first mistress of George, Prince of Wales, later King George IV of England.
When he tired of her and ended the affair, she used some of his more compromising letters to blackmail him for £5000. Soon afterwards, as the age of 26, she became partially paralysed and had to leave the stage, she became a writer, producing several novels, poems and plays. After being abandoned by another lover Captain Tarleton, she took revenge on him as well, by portraying him in two scathing novels. Her last years were overshadowed by increasing poverty and ill-health, and she died at the early age of 42.
This biography paints a vivid picture in words of life with royalty, Georgian theatre and the social world, and the struggle of a determined woman who had to fight against tragedy and misfortune, often not of her own making.
This report prepared by John Van der Kiste